Saturday, February 23, 2019

Op-ed: California needs to Fix Its Yachting Problem

From the Inbox:
The state budget recently put forward by newly elected Governor Gavin Newson is strangely lacking in acknowledging the divisive and unsupportable gap between rich and poor in the critically important area of yachting. Yes, he proposes money for building affordable housing, but where is the money for affordable yachting? What can justify this shortcoming?

Friday, February 22, 2019

Man down at the La Paloma

Looks like another pedestrian hit. If he was in the crosswalk, he was thrown a fair distance. Not sure if it’s a hit-and-run, but there’s no obvious vehicle stopped.

Council battles SANDAG and NCTD on Leucadia Streetscape

Encinitas City Council members on Wednesday, Feb. 20, rejected an attempt by two regional agencies to force a major redesign of the municipality’s plan to overhaul Highway 101 as it runs through the northern part of town.


Planners with the regional transportation agency — the San Diego Association of Governments — and the North County Transportation District — which has authority over the railroad right-of-way adjacent to the highway, had other ideas

After the approximately $30 million project recently received council approval, association officials issued a letter last week requesting a redesign of the blueprint for the east side of the plan encompassing northbound 101 and adjacent improvements.

The proposed revisions, the letter states, are needed because of plans to add a second railroad track that can only be located east of the existing track. Also a drainage ditch is proposed to accommodate flooding that occurs east of the rails along Vulcan Avenue.

As a result, officials contend, SANDAG’s coastal rail trail project through Leucadia must be rerouted to the west side, forcing dramatic revisions to the city’s streetscape concept.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Fed-up renter heading to Texas

This is quite the blog post from a local renter, who's angry at developers, NIMBYs, Democrats, Republicans, bicyclists, Tesla drivers, people who park on the street, city council, dog owners, red-light cameras, the gas tax, Prop 13...

[UPDATE: the blog has been locked as private, but the primary complaint was that Encinitas doesn't welcome middle-class people and that more apartments should be built.]

I share many of these frustrations. But I don't think more density, crowds, gridlock, and parking headaches is the answer. More of that just brings more of the same outrage expressed in the blog post above. Living too close to too many people can make people short-tempered. Space to breathe makes good neighbors.

More of us should -- and will -- move to Texas. Many already have. Explore the data at People from California and San Diego County are moving out to Nevada, Arizona, and Texas. And the people moving into San Diego County are refugees from the even more overcrowded Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2/20/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Four years after spending $10 million for abandoned school, city proposes modest improvements

Coast News:
Plans to transform the shuttered Pacific View Elementary School site into an arts, culture and ecology center are headed to the Encinitas Planning Commission for approval this week, more than four years after the city purchased the old Pacific View Elementary School site and selected a group to steward its restoration.


Plans also call for the project to be completed in two phases: Phase 1 would include basic facility improvements, disabled access and restrooms that would allow the group behind the project to slowly begin programming.

Phase 2 would include the full implementation of programming, improvements to the parking lot area, new fencing and interior site landscaping.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

SANDAG: not so fast on Streetscape!

From the Inbox:
Sounds like not so fast on Streetscape. The fun never stops with an inept (best spin you can put on it) city staff and asleep-at-the-wheel city council.  The final three pages show the SANDAG letter to Wisneski, taking issue with the Streetscape plan:

Flooding remains a big problem:

So much for the promised increased parking:

Monday, February 18, 2019

Citymark development causes flooding as predicted

From the Inbox:
After "multiple" violations, accompanied by wrist-slap fines, it appears the infill density bonus project "Hymettus Estates" developer Citymark may finally be issued a stop work order - "may" being the operative word.

The project is doing exactly what residents warned it would do: create illegal runoff that the neighbors now get to live with.

Staff wound their usual web of nonsense in debunking the residents' hydrology that apparently was proven right, but then again, our council never lets the truth interfere with some good developer influence.

 Reminiscent of the Zappa song "River of Shit," this is yet another "told you so" to the city, not that they care.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

2/13/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

This is a party bus town

Idling now at the stop sign at 2nd and I.

Two years ago, the council said they were going to crack down on party buses.

What does Encinitas' sea-level rise subcommittee say about buses idling indefinitely in city streets?

Pacific Station celebrates two years of vacancy

Two years ago:
The Pacific Station Whole Foods, which debuted five-and-a-half years ago to large crowds and a downtown eager for a standalone market, will shut down, the Texas-based chain announced Wednesday.

The 23,000-square-foot market, which was the centerpiece of the mixed-used development, will close its doors for good Feb. 22.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

San Diego to eliminate parking requirements for developers

A proposal to help solve San Diego’s housing crisis by wiping out parking requirements for new condominium and apartment complexes in neighborhoods near mass transit took a key step forward on Wednesday.

The City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee voted 3-1 in favor of the proposal, and forwarded it to the full nine-member council for final approval on March 4.
But the beach areas don't want this:
“I think this is an idea whose time has not come," said Campbell, noting that nearly 94 percent of San Diego adults own a car. "The removal of parking requirements seems to me to be one of the last steps we should take to get away from car-centric transit, instead of one of the first steps."

Campbell, whose district includes the city’s beach communities, said the neighborhoods she represents are already experiencing a parking crisis even without the proposed reduction in requirements.

"In my district, there are no parking spaces left on streets in the evenings or on weekends," Campbell said. "Putting in zero parking, while adding residential density without infrastructure for mass transit being already present, will lead to chaos in neighborhoods."

City housing plan still doesn't pass HCD

Del Mar Times:

HCD said in its letter that it has continued to find that two of the 15 sites on the proposed housing element update, the Armstrong Parcels, are not adequate for proposed development because the owners have not expressed interest.

The elimination of those sites places Encinitas in an approximately 50-unit shortfall of the 1,141 state-mandated units for zoning.

Damien Mavis, a resident whose family has owned a property on the southeast corner of Manchester Avenue and El Camino Real for 30 years, once again recommended his property to the city council as a solution to make up the lost numbers. He said he could offer 50 percent affordable units through a partnership with Community Housing Works. His proposal, however, has been met with threatened litigation from the adjacent San Elijo Lagoon and potential environmental impacts. The city has, so far, not considered his offer.

Another resident suggested the council reconsider a city-owned parcel -- known as L-7, at 634 Quail Gardens Lane -- as an option for affordable housing. The council voted to remove the site in April following concerns from residents living near the property that it wasn't appropriate for high-density housing and not ideal for access to mass transit or retail.

HCD also advised a number of changes to development standards, including increasing allowable three-story heights to a minimum of 35 feet for a flat roof and 39 feet for a pitched roof.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Woman who sabotaged Phil Graham candidacy gets 2 days in jail

Coast News:
A judge has sentenced a North County woman who falsely accused former State Assembly candidate Phil Graham of sexual misconduct to two days in county jail and three years probation, after the woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal charges stemming from her claims.

Superior Court Judge Sim Von Kalinowski rendered his sentence Tuesday afternoon after Graham, who lost in the June primary, called on the judge to render a harsher sentence.

Von Kalinowski ruled that Nichole Burgan, the woman who falsely accused Graham of forcibly kissing her in May 2018, should receive a more lenient sentence — which included a 90-day jail term that was stayed pending completion of her probation, $655 fine, 10 days public works service and a mental health evaluation — because she did not have a criminal record.

This is a bike town

Not everyone on Facebook agrees.

City staff working hard to bring the density

From the Inbox:
This is from page 22 of the January 28, 2019 letter [Development Services Director] Brenda [Wisneski] wrote to HCD: (is the example for all the other sites)

"As stated in Appendix C of the HEU, the Sage Canyon Parcel has a net acreage of 2.40, which yields 72 dwelling units (DU) at 30 du/net ac (although site capacity for purposes of the Housing Element was estimated as only 60 units). The sample developments detailed in the following analysis are based on 72 units and the setback, parking, and open space and other standard requirements provided in the proposed R-30 development standards."

People voted on the total of 1,504 housing units. The number that will be built is closer to 1900 housing units. This is before using any density bonus.

Mother and small children attacked by homeless man at Captain Keno's

10 News:

From threats to punches, an Encinitas mother says she fought off a homeless attacker using her umbrella and it all happened in front of her small children.

Sarah Stone says her attacker, a homeless man, confronted her family outside the Captain Kenos Restaurant in Encinitas.

Stone says the incident started inside the restaurant when the man tried to get into the women’s restroom stall with one of her young girls inside.

Outside, Stone says it continued by her car. “He’s ranting about how he’s going to kill everybody, how he’s going to set the restaurant on fire. He put his hand up to my head and said, ‘a bullet to your head.’” Stone says when the man started beating on the car window where one of her kids was sitting, that’s when her mother bear instincts kicked in.

Monday, February 4, 2019

WSJ op-ed on California housing

Wall Street Journal:
The California Department of Housing and Community Development has set eight-year housing quotas for different demographics—very low, low, moderate and above-moderate income. Cities must formulate plans to ensure enough land is zoned to meet their quotas. These blueprints must also “promote infill development and equity” by rehabilitating existing structures, “protect environmental and agricultural resources,” and ensure that housing “is located in an area appropriately planned for growth,” not to mention reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging “efficient” land use.

In other words, the state has been trying to cram more people into tightly packed urban spaces along the coasts—only about 1% of land in coastal urban areas is vacant and developable—where land costs are astronomical. And as demographers Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox have pointed out, California has pushed policies that severely restrict or even prohibit construction of detached single-family homes on undeveloped land.

Liberal advocates of “smart growth” say high-density development is an economical use of scarce land. But multifamily developments cost up to 7.5 times as much a square foot to build than do detached single-family houses. Rehabilitating “infill” areas—vacant space in urban areas—is also more expensive than building on vacant land because environmental hazards like asbestos and lead must be remedied.


California’s housing shortage is an indictment of central planning. Developers could build more low-income housing more cheaply in the exurbs if the state didn’t discourage sprawl. The state’s ability to project housing demand is also doubtful. Between 2011 and 2014, the population grew 4.5% in San Francisco and 3.8% in Riverside, which is east of Orange County. But between 2014 and 2017 as housing prices skyrocketed across the Bay Area, population increased by only 3.6% in San Francisco. In Riverside, by contrast, the population has grown by 4.5% since 2014 as people left coastal areas in search of less expensive housing. The median home price in Riverside is about $390,000. If cities build more housing and prices become more affordable, people and jobs will follow.